The Art of Conformity.

Posted: January 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

We learn them early in life, the rules of uniformity.
It’s pretty simple, if you want to be a part of US,
You need to dress-act-think like the rest of US.
The secret to acceptance and approval lies in conformity.
We are told to shut up and conform. Don’t be different; don’t make waves. Dress like everybody else. Think like everybody else. Act like everybody else. If you want to fit in, you have to blend in. Get in line.
It’s all so very uniform.
Life can begin to seem like one big dress code. Believe it or not, I’ve never been a big fan of dress codes. They confine and define. They deny admission and belonging. We think that it’s just about peer pressure, something we will outgrow or escape as we become fully bonded adult humans. But we never seem to outgrow the call to conformity. Go to most offices or churches, and you’ll find people all dressed alike—not because they want to, but because it’s the norm. People try to make us like them, we try to make people like us.
Act like me…think like me…dress like me…
I hate dress codes, I hate dress clothes. They never fit me right, especially dress pants. They make me itchy and uncomfortable. Nothing ever looks right, either. Everything I wear looks baggy because I have a baggy body.
One day I realized I didn’t want to conform. I saw conformity as a vicious social cycle that never lets up. It’s like a really crowded, out-of-control merry-go round. You frantically try to look and act like everyone else and you forget who you really are. The unchanging fact is that fashion constantly changes, so you’re constantly forced to redefine yourself. I hear people say they boldly and bravely dress a certain way because they want to express themselves, yet they express themselves by looking, acting, and thinking like everyone else. That is a little messed up.
I didn’t want to be like everybody else—that’s boring. I wanted to be me. Even now I still dress like I did when I was 12. I wear wrinkled T-shirts (preferably with a picture of a superhero or one of my favorite sports teams), baggy shorts, and Chuck Taylors.
The problem is that somewhere along the line, we start to believe being different is somehow bad. We think the key to survival and acceptance is conformity. We should all work hard to look, act, and think the same. We make SAME the goal. We desperately try to be SAME. We spend our lives in the sea of SAME, thinking that will make us happy, accepted and well adjusted humans.
But, my friends, the liberating truth is…
Different is proof we have a Creator who has a wild imagination and a great sense of humor.
Be yourself.
Be different.
Be weird.
Be original.
Be willing to be misunderstood.
Don’t let anyone press you into some stupid mold. Maybe you look or dress different than anyone else. Maybe you act or think a little different than other people OR maybe you don’t.
Just be you, the completely original, never to be duplicated YOU!
Here’s an actual factual that hopefully sets you at ease: God doesn’t want you to be anything or anybody that you aren’t.
Just be yourself for God.
Be yourself for himself.
When we decide to live for him, God doesn’t change our passions or personality. He changes our purpose and our priorities. He knows you. He designed you, even all the weirdness. So be who God made you to be.
Own your weirdness.
Conformity is putting unnatural stress on yourself.
Conformity is a cage with an open door.
You don’t have to work at different, it’s a liberating thing to just be yourself. It gives you wings.
We were all designed to be different. A soup or stew with only one ingredient would be pretty bland. The variety of ingredients is what makes things tasty. There is a flavor that only you can bring to this bland world. We need your flavor. Be yourself, for therein lies the magic and the miracle. As you encounter and eventually embrace who you were born to be, miraculous things take place. You’re set free from the chains of conformity.
Conformity is the natural enemy of creativity.
I refuse to conform because I’m a piece of art. I’m a priceless, one-of-a-kind masterpiece—and so are you.
You might not feel like a masterpiece, but you are. You might feel your life is anything but art right now. That’s only because you’re too close to yourself.
In our city there is an amazing art gallery. It’s an incredible place that inspires the snot out of me (not literally…that would be gross). I just sit at a distance and stare at some of the amazing paintings.
Now imagine YOU are at an art museum, you are walking around, soaking it all in, and then you walk right up to a framed painting. You get so close to the painting your nose is touching it. It’s a beautiful painting of a nature scene complete with thick green grass, a babbling waterfall, and big oak trees with a chubby brown squirrel sitting on a branch. But you can’t appreciate the painting because you’re too close. All you can see is a green blur, a skinny blue mark, and a brown spot. It makes no sense because your perspective is all messed up. But if you step back a few feet, everything starts to take shape, and you can see the waterfall and the tree and even the cute little squirrel.
Life can be the same. You don’t realize that you’re too close to see the whole picture clearly. As you get older and get a little more perspective, things will start shaping up.
You ALSO need to remember that not only are you a masterpiece, but EVERYbody else is ALSO a masterpiece. EVERYONE on this planet is art, whether they act like it or not. The placement or use of a masterpiece doesn’t make it art, the touch of the artist creates art. You need to treat EVERYone you meet like art. We need to give others the space and the grace to be themselves. That means we don’t put down or disrespect the art in others. Imagine once again you’re back at the art gallery, and there’s a big opening. An amazing artist is there showing off some of his favorite work. You walk in and walk up to a piece, clear your throat, and spit on his painting (shocking!!). How do you think the artist would feel? Hurt? Angry? Disrespected? If you disrespect the creation, you’re disrespecting the creator.
When we disrespect people, the walking, talking art around us, we’re disrespecting the Creator, the artist who crafted them. I think God takes that personally. Respect the art, respect the Artist. Allow others to be themselves.

Conformity really is a crime against the Creator.

To be anything other than yourself is to deny the divine. God has unleashed amazing creative diversity and wild beauty in you. For us to try to contain the creativity just isn’t right.

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